>> Want to be involved in building community, providing nutritious + local food to Winnipegers experiencing food insecurity, and reducing food waste? Read on. <<
What is the Waste Not program? Serve the People and Fireweed Food Co-op formed a partnership in summer 2020 to help distribute local food to homes in Winnipeg experiencing food insecurity. During peak growing season, most of the food is donated by local producers (either through their own programs, or excess produce they won’t sell before it goes bad). Not only do the Waste Not boxes help with the distribution of nutritious food to homes experiencing food insecurity, they also help prevent food waste.
How it works: Serve the People facilitates a sign-up sheet for recipients to use and Fireweed Food Co-op packages the food at their warehouse. Every Thursday community volunteers pick-up the packages and deliver them to the homes who have requested food. Since summer 2020, we have delivered local food to nearly 1000 people.
Why local? The food being purchased for these boxes comes from local farmers engaging in regenerative agricultural practices. Not only are we able to support a more sustainable and just food system within our province, but we're also able to provide food that's incredibly nutritious. This project aims to remove the financial barriers that are often involved in accessing local, nutritious food.
The need: When donations from producers started dwindling in fall 2020, the need to purchase produce for the boxes grew. Thanks to a grant from the Spence Neighbourhood Association, we have continued providing boxes to 25 homes per week, spending approximately $10/box.
As of February, we’ve used all the grant money and thus are turning to our community to help keep the project going. At approximately $250/week, we are hoping to raise $5000 to bring us to mid-June when we will start receiving food donations from producers again.
What’s in each box? We try to ensure there’s protein in each box (a generous donor provides us with frozen hams most weeks), enough vegetables to last 2-3 meals, locally grown grains, beans, oils, and other pantry products, when available.
That final “please help”… From the producers who are growing and making the food to the delivery drivers who get it to Winnipegers homes (using their own vehicles, gas, time), this is truly a community project. We’re so thankful for everyone who has been involved in this project thus far, and are excited at the prospect of being able to keep it going for the rest of the winter. With your help, we think we can do it.
For each donation:
• Donations of $10 will cover the cost of getting a Waste Not box to one home
• Donations of $250 will cover the cost of Waste Not Box delivery for an entire week (25 homes)
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- Jade Cuthbert
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